Why Upgrading Your Motorcycle Suspension is Important for Motorcycle Safety.

Motorcycle Suspension issues by biker law blog guest contributor Greg N.This article is by Guest Contributor Greg N. of MotoYard.com.

I talk to a lot of people who say, “why should I upgrade my suspension, I don’t race”, well there are many other very good reasons why you should upgrade, most important one being safety. I can’t tell you how many times I thanked myself for upgrading mine.

Whether you ride a Harley or a Suzuki GSXR, there are upgrades available and they are similar on both types of bikes. For cruisers there are plenty of choices – Progressive Suspension, Works Performance, Race Tech to name a few. For sport bikes there are choices as well with Penske, Race Tech and of course Ohlins among others.

So what is the difference between your stock suspension and an aftermarket one? Well, it’s always safe to assume that aftermarket is better, because although the manufacturer wants to put out a good bike, they do try to cut costs, so of course they cut corners, and the only thing an aftermarket manufacturer can do is improve (otherwise why would anyone buy it). There are very few manufacturers that use good components, like Ducati, but instead of spending $20K on a Ducati, you can have the same suspension for much less on pretty much any bike. Most stock forks (made by Showa or other manufacturers) are damper rod forks, with aftermarket forks you get cartridge forks. Although most newer sport bikes come with cartridge forks, they use wimpy springs that can’t compare to an Ohlins fork for example. One thing to remember is that most newer bikes will have a much better suspension than its older counterpart. For example the 2008 Yamaha R1 shock is a much better shock than say, the 2006. What a lot of people don’t know is in a lot of cases the shock on the newer model bike will fit an older one just fine. What that means is you can go to a site that has used motorcycle parts, like eBay.com or Motoyard.com and find a used one for much cheaper than you would pay for an Ohlins shock. A lot of people will replace their brand new shocks with an aftermarket one and sell the stock one for cheap.

Another way to go is of course to get those expensive aftermarket components. In my personal experience there is no comparison, no matter how good the manufacturer says they made the suspension that year. A really nice rear shock can run you over $1000 new, and so can the front forks. On some bikes you have some options, instead of replacing the whole fork, you can replace the internals (the cartridge). There are companies that will build the forks for you like Race Tech, but you can usually go to any competent bike shop and they can change the fork internals for you. This is not a very simple job to do on your own, since the springs are under pressure and there are many little pieces that tend to get lost. As for replacing the rear shock, you can probably do it yourself, with a help of a friend. Most times, it’s just one or a few bolts that you need to take out (top and bottom of the shock) and while your friend is holding the bike up by the seat (since it’s not attached to the swingarm or wheel with the shock, it’s pretty light), you can pull out the old shock and put a new one in, in about 20 minutes.

Another great thing about aftermarket shocks and forks is that they are adjustable. Yeah, the manufacturers claim theirs are adjustable too, but if you have ever tried to adjust your compression or rebound on your stock forks, you will probably notice that the changes are so small, they are barely noticeable. With an aftermarket shock and forks you will definitely notice the difference.

So the question still remains: why do you need a new suspension? Well, if you race, you know the difference it makes on the track. If you don’t, what you get is a much safer bike on the street. Aftermarket shocks will not “bottom out” as easily when you hit a bump and your bike will feel much more predictable in turns. You also will have much better braking feel and performance. What is predictable? Well, when you are in a middle of a turn, and you hit a bump, you don’t expect or want your bike’s front wheel to skip and go in another direction. With a good suspension you can minimize those times, we all had, when we wonder if we might have been going a little too fast into that turn.
So, is it worth spending thousands of dollars on new suspension? In my opinion – Yes. If you are looking to do it on a budget, and you have an older model bike, find out if a newer model bike has a better suspension and see if it fits yours – you can probably upgrade for a quarter of the price or less.

By Greg N. of Motoyard.com.

If you want to write an article for The Biker Law Blog which gets well over 100,000 hits per month, please email your article to me at Norman@norman-law.com.

Thanks,

Biker and Motorcycle Accident Attorney

Norman Gregory Fernandez

 

4 Responses to Why Upgrading Your Motorcycle Suspension is Important for Motorcycle Safety.

  1. The Castrol Power1 Passion Hunt will enable biking enthusiasts across the country
    to come together to showcase and share their passion for biking and also vie for the title of
    the “Castrol Power1’s Most Passionate Biker”.
    The winner of the All India title of “Castrol Power1’s Most Passionate Biker” will win a Yamaha R1
    Superbike which will be handed over by John Abraham.
    Bikers can log on to http://www.power1hunt.com and can create their own personal profiles as passionate bikers to showcase to the world. On this site,
    bikers can upload pictures, videos and stories pertaining to biking. Visitors to the site will be able to vote for the online
    ‘Castrol Power1’s Most Passionate Biker’ and this biker will also have an opportunity to participate in the All India Final competition

  2. Thanks for a great article. I was really impressed with your suggestion to buy a newer model part used, then install it on your older model bike. It makes for a better bike than buying the same model part new!

Leave a reply

The Biker Law Blog is published by California Motorcycle Accident Attorney & Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq.

The Moy & Fernandez Law Group are real bikers helping other bikers. Unlike some other so called "fake" motorcycle accident attorney's who do not ride motorcycles, Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq. actually rides a motorcycle.

We are experts in dealing with motorcycle accident cases.

We handle motorcycle accident cases, motorcycle passenger injury accidents, and other personal injury cases all over the State of California. We are real bikers and motorcycle riders who represent bikers and motorcycle riders who have suffered injuries due to motorcycle accidents and crashes. We handle Motorcycle Accidents, Motorcycle Passenger Accidents, Dangerous Conditions on public roads which cause motorcycle accidents, defective motorcycle cases, Cruiser Motorcycle Accidents, biker rights, criminal law, Car Accidents, Uninsured Motorist Claims, Wrongful Death, Torts, Cager and/or Car negligence, personal injury and Other Injury Cases. We have locations in Southern California and Northern California. We handle personal injury, and motorcycle accident cases in all over California including: Southern California, Central California, and Northern California.

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident or any other motor vehicle accident, you may call us 7 days a week, 24 hours a day at 800-816-1529 x. 1, or submit your case online here.